124 Science Lates – Sound and Screen – 21st February 2020


Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow 08:00 – 22:30


DRDA-0000 Doug Inman Dalek
GB-6275 Mark McCreadie Ghostbuster
ID-15233 Fraser Boyd Line Officer
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TA-7240 Julie Sword AT-AT Pilot
TB-89909 Jenn Mair Biker Scout
TI-91810 Lynn McDavid Stormtrooper
TK-18910 Brian McDavid Stormtrooper
UK-0000 Jamie Hall Spotter
UK-6084 Stuart Thompson Spotter

Mission Report
You have to admire the persistence of the Glasgow Science Centre in continuing with these Science Late events as they never seem to have an attendance that would justify the staffing costs.  I suppose we’re equally culpable, we keep turning up to them too although the attendees rarely have any interest in our presence, but although very, very, quiet this was ironically one of the instances better attended by the public.

I struggled to think why it had been marked an induction, until I realised that jokes about the size of Frasers trousers were a clue it was technically his first troop.  He’s been a fixture at events for such long time now between his Mando and RL attendances I just assumed his officer had been cleared months ago, sans branding a quick handshake had to suffice as his welcome to the 501st.

As is normal we started the evening out in the atrium to welcome those visitors that the persistent rain hadn’t kept away but the shorter walk from the car park to the cinema entrance meant that many of them bypassed those of us near the main doors entirely.  Taking the lift to the higher floors revealed them to be practically empty, bar areas aside, and we even ventured to the third floor which is pretty much unheard of as the heat up there is oppressive for anyone in costume when the building is busier.

Looking down from this vantage point showed that the cafeteria was fairly well occupied so after a break some of the troopers elected to take a wander around there.  The mixture of alcohol and voices muffled by helmets seemed to cause some slight aggravation though so it was a visit quickly curtailed.

The most interesting part of the night for me was a journey down the ramp towards the base of the tower.  I’ve never actually been in that area before, as per the long standing local joke the tower itself seems to have been closed due to structural problems/weather/lift being broken for the majority of the time since it’s construction, but being able to see the base and foundations and the explanation of the engineering behind it was as fascinating as the loud AT-AT Walker alike noises of its movement in the wind.

Knowing that a live band was due to start performing in the atrium at 21:00 we took a last tour of this area ahead of time to bid farewell to anyone departing early, but it had long passed the stage where the attendees had started to get slightly grab-y towards the costumes and it was relief to call the night quits

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98 Museums at Night : The museum awakens – 27th October 2017

Troop Icons Ghostbuster 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 19:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Somewhere in Paisley there’s possibly a foreign student from the local university who was at a loose end on Friday night and her and her friend decided to immerse themselves in the culture of the area by attending the Halloween-themed late night opening of the nearby museum. Not only is she perhaps still vainly looking in the wrong part of the building for the wooden object associated with the Titanic to complete the scavenger hunt from that night, but she’s of the firm belief that the museum hires a paranormal investigator once a year to ensure that the artefacts on display don’t react to the build-up of psychic energy caused by visitors. This level of deception is something I should feel bad about. But I don’t.

Instead I feel really good about this event. I have to admit, even leaving aside the couple of hours I had mixed this up with the alcohol fuelled student event at the town hall the same night, I wasn’t expecting much from this troop. It hadn’t been heavily promoted on our boards to encourage anyone to sign up, the organisers weren’t expecting much of a crowd and I was wary that those who did turn up would be local mehoos just in out the cold. Indeed the first two teens I encountered fell exactly into this category, nearly prompting me to about turn and head back to the changing area to de-kit. Fortunately walking in the opposite direction brought me into the main exhibit hall was stowed to the rafters with families who had actually made an effort to embrace the spirit of the event by making costumes and taking part in the activities on offer.

While the TK drew the initial crowd (mostly thanks to the showboating way he slowly descended in the wheelchair lift while I took the stairs) I was left to wander round the display cases and framed paintings scanning them with my PKE meter, which 12 hours later when I could finally recall what the abbreviation stood for I was kicking myself, poking at the headless and armless torsos dressed in vintage clothing to ensure they were indeed solid and not Focussed, Full torso class III apparitions and receiving occasional encouragement that “[I] should check the paintings, it’s always the paintings” and reports of sightings at the opposite end of the museum, the opposite direction of which I always most assuredly made a beeline for.

I much preferred this event to the equivalent at the Science Centre as the museum lacked the constant blaring music of the former allowing much more scope for interaction with the public that simply standing still for a photo. The younger boys of one extended family, spent a substantial amount of time telling me quite seriously of the ghost they had seen recently and asking how to deal with it while their sister, older by two or three years, saw right through my façade and confidentially whispered in my ear that they were big fans of Ghostbusters.

If there were to be downsides, well… it felt kind of off for the staff to nominate myself and the Stormtrooper to be the ones to pick the costume competition winners, I’m kind of glad this didn’t crop up till the very end as there could only be seven winners and there were A LOT of kids who were going to be disappointed.

It’s a rare troop that I would say was too short by half, but this definitely was. Unfortunately the museum will shortly close for the best part of four years so the opportunity to repeat it isn’t going to come along again anytime soon.

78 Glasgow Science Centre, Halloween Party 2015 – 30th October 2015

Troop Icons GB 2015Location
Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Once again it was a pleasure to attend what’s now apparently being branded as Fright Night at the GSC for the third year in a row despite yet another reduction in the number of attendees (although this was deliberate due to ongoing renovation work limiting them to 2,500 ticket sales) and costumers again, but fortunately the Rebel Legion were able to bump that second figure up slightly or it would have been a poor turn out.

As with last year we were mostly contained at the entrance area and the top of the escalators on the first floor although our newly expanded trio of Ghostbusters managed a bit of a brief wander around the place as the evening went on.
Unlike last year however I experienced no hardware disasters having given the pack a bit of an overhaul in the twelve months since.  Well…  I say “twelve months” but most of that was not doing anything then rushing to complete it the week before as usual…

Also in attendance once again with their camera were the crew of The Riverside Show.

As one of the few open face costumers I have to admit to not being enamoured of being told that unlike last year, we weren’t to just wander in the back of shot but that they were looking for an on-air interview.  Fortunately Claire Mackie of the Rebel Legion stepped up to the challenge but at one point in the video you can see me visibly panic that having introduced the Ghostbusters the interviewer was now going to address us directly!
Having learned her lesson last year about avoiding being in the camera shot Julie made sure to stand behind it this time.  Unfortunately she failed to notice that we were all stood in front of a wall made of mirrored panels making her reflection quite visible as the camera pans and so chalks up yet another TV credit.

As is fast becoming tradition the skeleton band were playing on the big screen outside the building.  Unfortunately any opportunity to get the team of paranormal investigators over to eliminate them was scuppered by the same screen looping the latest Star Wars trailer (which at least 66% of the GBs in attendance are choosing to studiously avoid) all night.

I hope the event returns again next year with a greater turnout of costumers, indeed at some point I’d like to actually attend it as a member of the public. The only lesson to be learned I think is that we need to arrive earlier to ensure the staff haven’t eaten all the food by the time we go for dinner!

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72 Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party – 31st October 2014 PART TWO!


Having been invited back to the GSC, to take part in their Halloween party, we discovered that the STV magazine program The Riverside Show would be broadcasting a segment live from the facility during our Troop.

Although they were only interviewing the event organiser and not ourselves we were asked to wander about in the background of the shot while it was taking place…

Obviously with it being transmitted live it wasn’t possible for those of us present to see our appearance.
Luckily however Rill and Led* have mostly been using their loyal Viper Probe Droid as a fancy Digital Video Recorder lately so they don’t miss any episodes of Coach Trip. Led being Led can’t program the Series Link so rather than see Liam and Georgy get a three-day immunity from the daily vote, he mistakenly recorded us instead…

*Yes, that is still a thing, even though it’s been nearly four years since the last episode.

72 Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party – 31st October 2014

Science Centre, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:30

Mission Report
It was a delight to return to the Glasgow Science Centre Halloween Party again for a second year, one of the few occasions that presents the opportunity, and that it’s thematically appropriate, to done the Ghostbusters get up.

From the off though the night was a bit of a personal disaster for me.  Despite giving the pack a once over and much-needed dust the night before on arrival I discovered that the neutron wand had broken in two, possibly during transport.  While I was able to perform a (rather unsubtle) duct tape repair on that I wasn’t in a position to do anything to resolve the stuttering from the pack speaker when the sounds were running.  Not a massive inconvenience as the noise inside pretty much drowns it out anyway, but my fellow paranormal investigator and eliminator did let out a chuckle when I was forced to make proton stream noise with my mouth while we wrangled some animated skeletons outside.  Hopefully this just needs a change of battery and isn’t damaged wiring because I don’t think I own a costume now that isn’t in need of some kind of repair at this stage!

The event seemed quieter to me that the previous year, certainly in Trooper attendance if not actually that of the public but even so we were hardly able to cover half the ground we’d done the year before, mostly being confined to the entrance and at the top of the escalators on the first floor.  The public seemed pleased to see us though and it was nice to run into a mini Ghostbuster and two somewhat more mature examples.  Possibly as an unfortunate sign of Hollywood things to come they were all female.

By an odd coincidence at one point as we walked our way from the changing area I found myself musing on how the proceedings could be improved by having a Halloween Horror Nights-style experience with Scareactors lurching out of the dark corners at the public.
Little did I realise until the night was over that exactly this type of things was happening a zombie infested area that we never wandered into!

It’s already been suggested by the organisers that we’ll be invited back next year and I hear tell that the GSC is considering running a similar thing for adults in future so I’m glad the event is proving as popular with the public as it is with the costumers…

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